Recently, I've come into contact with a lot of people that want to try CrossFit for the first time. And I think it's awesome. It feels like every other day, I'm running into different people who want to try it out and change up their fitness lifestyle. THAT'S GREAT NEWS! Everyone that does crossfit (for the most part) will encourage pretty much anyone to do it. It's just that great. But what a lot of people don't-won't-tell you is that every Crossfit gym box isn't for everyone. Just like you have your own taste in music, clothes, food, and everything else, you'll have your own taste in a box. I got really lucky: Red Stick CrossFit was the first box I ever walked into and it was love at first burpee. Being that I'm a CrossFit freak, I've done a lot of traveling over the course of the last year eleven months and I've realized that some CrossFit boxes just aren't for me. So! If you're thinking about starting or maybe you're switching boxes, here are a few things to think about before starting your CF journey!
3 important things to consider about CrossFit boxes
1. The (physical) atmosphere
Are you one of those people that can't even comprehend working out without air-conditioning? Or do you think A/C makes you weak?
Don't get me wrong, if you're doing this CrossFit thing right, you're gonna sweat your ass off. But I've heard more than once that some people are very particular about the temperature in which they do their sweating.
I'm lucky that I don't feel like I've worked hard enough unless I've soaked every piece of clothing I own and covered my box floor in sweat angels, so it's great that my exposed brick box doesn't take too well to cooling down.
I think the aesthetics of a box are pretty important, too. When I walk into RSCF with the brick walls and industrial lights (we used to be an auto shop), I can't help but feel like I need to do work.
What type of ceiling do you want to stare at when you're flat on your back after hanging out with Fran?
This one can be kind of tough for people. Why? Because you have to decide what kind of person you are. Are you social or introverted? Do you want the people around you to be involved with your training process or do you want to be left alone? Are you here to workout and make friends or are you just here to workout and leave?
Crossfit is a community, but like all communities, there are different types of people. Some crossfit gyms are more naturally geared toward facilitating friendships and a social atmosphere than others. And depending on what you want out of your CrossFit experience, that can be a great thing.
If you're interested in a get in, get out, get jacked kind of deal, you may want to look for boxes where the people feel the same way. I love people and I love friends so I love the social inclination of my boxmates. I really love that they're there to push me during workouts and everyone knows my name (no Cheers). I think it's great that we can all go out to dinner together and hang out outside the box (but of course we discuss a wide range of CF related topics).
Yes, I know. CrossFit is TOTALLY worth the fact that it's expensive. BUT in my box jumpin' endeavors, I've found some boxes that are really, really expensive. Many boxes offer discounted rates for first responders, military, etc. but you'll want to get the most for your money. And if the price is something that you can't pay all at one time, are the owners willing to work out a payment schedule with you? I wanted to do CrossFit so badly that I was willing to split the payments up and pay weekly what I had to do participate! Cash flow ain't no joke.
A lot of planning goes into finding your right box, but once you've found it, you'll get attached. So how do you make sure you find the right one? Try 'em out. Almost every box has a free intro portion. Go to 'em! Visit the facility and do a WOD. Do you like the place? The people? The coaches? The price? Guess it's time to sign up!
I hope this helps all of you who are in between or on your way to a box. If you're already a crossfitter, what brought you to your box?